Power outages are unpredictable – and unfortunate – occurrences that are more common than you might think. Not to mention, these long-term power cuts can be potentially challenging and risky situations for families.
A sudden loss of electricity in a particular area for an extended period is called a long-term power outage. It can happen due to harsh winters, tornadoes, landslides, droughts, mother nature unleashing a hurricane or flood, or anything in between.
Regardless of the reason for the sudden power cut, it is best to equip yourself with all the essentials. In 2017 alone, more than 36 million Americans were affected by power outages. Thus, it becomes crucial to learn how to prepare for a long-term power outage and create a backup plan.
How To Protect Yourself During A Long-Term Power Outage?
When the power in your area goes out, chances are it will be back within a few minutes or hours. But be prepared to deal with a no-notice power cut for several days. Below are a few ways to prepare yourself and your family for such blackout situations.
Reach Out To Communities
Communities for power outages is a platform where people can find help during blackouts. These communities have power charging stations, generators, batteries, solar panels, and warming/cooling centers.
If your home is too hot or cool, evacuate the space and reach the nearest community for help. Develop a plan and carry all the essential items to get your family members and pet (if you have one) to a safe location. However, do not drive to communities if the road is no longer visible due to a blackout.
Note Down Important Information
Living without your cell phone is impossible. But in case of a power outage, finding a charging station and recharging all your electronic devices can be challenging.
It is recommended to note down all the vital information on paper to avoid this scenario. You can write down addresses and phone numbers of nearby storm shelters, local libraries, hospitals, schools that might help, and a few relatives whom to reach for assistance.
Once you have noted the information, it is time to switch off your device and save battery until you find a charging station.
Illness can strike anytime and probably when you are least equipped. Have a first aid kit with bandages, disinfectants, and everything in between for emergencies.
Stock up on over-the-counter medications, including fever management, painkillers, and anti-allergy. In addition, if you rely on any medical devices that work on electricity, it is essential to know how to prepare for a long-term power outage.
While preparing for the power outage, the goal is to give your family the ability to survive for a few days without power. A big part of developing the plan is to have a reliable power backup source that can charge your medical devices during an emergency.
A solar power backup source will help you keep your life-critical medicines safe in your refrigerator. If you do not have access to a power backup source, check the medication guidelines and understand how long they can be stored at higher temperatures.
Store Non-Perishable Food
Without power, your refrigerator will become off-limits in 4 hours. After this, you'll have to look for other ways to keep your food fresh.
If you have perishable food, cook it first and eat it fresh. Check the temperature of the food before consuming it. If the temperature is above 40°F, throw out all the food.
As you ponder how to prepare for a long-term power outage in winter, reserving non-perishable food items at home is one of the essential steps.
Some non-perishable foods that work well without refrigeration are dried fruits, canned soups, powdered milk, pasta, and cereals. Having enough dry food stock will ensure you no longer have to worry during the next power outage.
Use Your Generator Safely
Generators come in handy when you have to deal with extended power cuts. However, it is essential to understand and follow some precautionary measures to prevent hazards.
If you have an oil/gas generator, it's crucial to use it safely. Gas-powered appliances can be dangerous to use indoors. They emit carbon monoxide, causing CO poisoning in enclosed spaces.
Place the gas generator outside or at least 20 feet away from your house, windows, and garage door. As carbon monoxide gas is colorless and odorless, installing a CO detector is the right solution to safeguard your family.
The potential power disruption and the fear of carbon monoxide emission can quickly add stress to your life. So, how to prepare for a long-term power outage? What is the best and safe alternative to a gas generator? The answer to all your questions is solar generators.
Unlike gas generators, Jackery solar generators do not cause pollution or emit carbon monoxide. It is a quiet, safe, and easy-to-use battery-powered generator involving no fuel or maintenance costs.
Solar generators collect solar energy from direct sunlight and store the power in a lithium battery. This stored energy is used to power your devices and appliances during power outages.
You can use Jackery Portable Power Station to keep your electronic devices, like smartphones, refrigerators, CPAP, laptops, coffee makers, etc., charged.
As it is the best generator for a long-term power outage, the Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro can support 3.3 hours for a refrigerator(520W), 5 hours for an electric heater(350W), and 33 hours for an electric blanket(55W).
Unplug Your Home Appliances
During power outages, you may experience a sudden spike or surge in the power line. The fluctuations in the electricity line can often be a reason for potential electrical damage.
Unplug all the electrical devices, including the heating/cooling appliances, refrigerator, microwave, television, etc. You can shut off the power from the electrical circuit to prevent damage from a sudden power surge.
Check On Your Neighbors
Once you and your family members are safe and secure, your next step is to check the safety of your neighbors.
Communicate with nearby people and let them know you are safe. If you have older adults near your home, call them and see if they are safe in their homes. Reach out to them if they need assistance.
Cook Food Safely
If you use electronic stoves, you should stock up on alternatives such as gas stoves, solar ovens, gas grills, fireplaces, wood stoves, etc. However, if the fire is not an option, you can prepare your meals using a propane stove or solar-powered oven.
Cook the perishable food first and eat it within 2 hours of cooking. Always check the texture, smell, and look of your food before you consume it. And if you are in doubt, throw it out, as food poisoning can risk your family's health.
After A Power Outage
Now that you understand tips on how to prepare for a long-term power outage in winter or summer, it's time to learn what to do next. Once the power is restored, it is time to do some after-power outage tasks. The two most crucial things you need to keep in mind after a blackout include
Throw Spoiled Food
Check out the food you have stored in the refrigerator before the power outage. If the texture or smell of the food is altered, consider throwing it. The government recommends throwing all food exposed to 40°F or higher temperatures for more than two hours. Similar to food, throw away the medicines that require refrigeration.
Prepare Power Backup Plan
Blackouts can happen again. To avoid the situation, consider purchasing a portable power station and be prepared for the next power outage.
The Jackery Portable Power Station can be recharged via solar panels, car charging, and wall charging. With the best battery quality and high efficiency, Jackery solar generator is known to be one of the best generators for long-term power outages.
Solar generators operate efficiently and do not consume fossil fuels. That's why they are a safe, efficient, and clean way to charge your devices during blackouts.
Power outages can be scary. But with planning, you can deal with blackouts.
Investing your money in a solar power generator can help you in many ways, especially when dealing with power outages. It is your answer to "how to prepare for a long-term power outage," as it ensures you are not powerless during power cuts.
If you are looking for an emergency power backup plan, the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro, and Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro are excellent choices for a long-term power outage as they are equipped with a higher-capacity battery. You can charge anything from refrigerators and heating/cooling devices to electric grills with them.
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